SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

The Happenings

The Happenings are a pop music group that originated in the 1960s. Members of the original group, created in the spring of 1961 and called "The Four Graduates" because all had just graduated from high school in Paterson, New Jersey, were Bob Miranda, David Libert, Tom Giuliano, Ralph DiVito. In 1968 DiVito was replaced by Bernie LaPorta and Lenny Conforti joined to play drums in the touring band. Both LaPorta and Conforti took a hiatus from the northern New Jersey band, The Emerald Experience, to play and tour with The Happenings; that lineup performed at colleges and universities until 1970, when Libert left the band to manage other groups, including George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic, Living Colour, Brian Auger, Vanilla Fudge, The Runaways, Mother's Finest, Alice Cooper and Evelyn "Champagne" King. The band's original concept and much of its commercial success came as a cover band playing classic songs in a unique style. Said Miranda, the group's concept was to "take a song that's proven it could be a hit and put our spin on it".

That "spin" consisted of a combination of rich harmonies on vocals and upbeat tempos marked by prominent percussion and sometimes elaborate orchestration. The group composed its own songs; the group's major hits were "See You In September", recorded by The Tempos in 1959, a cover version of the George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin song, "I Got Rhythm", updated for the group's sunshine pop musical style. "See You In September" and "I Got Rhythm" were on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles charts for 14 weeks in 1966 and 13 weeks in 1967 forming musical bookends for the 1966-1967 school year, based on their Hot 100 #3 peak dates. "I Got Rhythm" and Billy Stewart's "Summertime" formed Gershwin musical bookends for the same school year, based on the same Hot 100 peak dates. Disc sales for both "See You in September" and "I Got Rhythm" exceeded one million copies, resulting in R. I. A. A. Gold record awards by 1969; the group had nine Billboard Hot 100 Singles hits from 1966 to 1968, including versions of "Go Away Little Girl" and "My Mammy".

They both achieved sales in excess of one million copies, garnering the group another couple of gold records. "Hare Krishna," a version of a song from the musical Hair, was the group's last Hot 100 hit. The band continues to perform with lead singer Miranda as the only remaining original member. On cruise ships it performs Frankie Valli songs and "Runaround Sue" as well as their original material. LaPorta was a music teacher in the North Arlington, New Jersey, school district until the 2006-2007 school year, when he retired from his position, he now performs with Joe Zisa & Friends a "Jersey Tribute" with Joe Zisa, Sal Sellitto, Lenny Conforti, Dennis Oricchio, Tommy Bialoglow of The Duprees. (Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, "See You In September" was listed in a memo containing 150 songs that radio conglomerate Clear Channel Communications suggested be banned from radio.} The Happenings' official web site Bob Miranda's official web site Garfield Cadets website - in 1968 Mike La Neev joined the band as the drummer

Pokey Allen

Ernest Duncan "Pokey" Allen Jr. was a gridiron football player and coach in the United States and Canada. He played college football for the Utah Utes before going on to play professionally for the BC Lions and the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League in the 1960s. Allen began a coaching career after retiring as a player in 1968, his early assistant and position coaching jobs included several NCAA football teams and the Los Angeles Express of the United States Football League. He was defensive coordinator at Cal & called the last play in the game with Stanford with his defense going through the Stanford band in 1982 referred to as “the game”, he was the head coach at from 1986 to 1992 and at Boise State University from 1993 to 1996, compiling a career college football record of 87–41–2. Allen led Portland State to consecutive appearances in the Division II championship game in 1987 and 1988 and guided Boise State to the Division I-AA title game in 1994. In 1994, Allen was diagnosed with a rare form of muscle cancer.

He continued coaching until shortly before his death in 1996. Born in Superior, Allen attended Missoula County High School in Missoula and was a high school athlete in football and track. Allen played quarterback in high school, he accepted a scholarship to play college football at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City under head coach Ray Nagel. Utah was a member of the Skyline Conference, in 1962 became a charter member of the WAC; as a freshman in 1961, Allen returned punts on the freshman team. By his sophomore year, Allen was a defensive player, serving as the third-string quarterback; as a quarterback and cornerback in his senior season in 1964, Allen and end/placekicker Roy Jefferson led the Utes to a 9–2 record, including a 32–6 victory over favored West Virginia in the Liberty Bowl, played indoors in Atlantic City. Allen played three seasons of professional football in the Canadian Football League with the BC Lions and Edmonton Eskimos as a defensive back. Through 38 total regular season games, he recorded two fumble recoveries.

While with the BC Lions from 1965 to 1967, Allen was used sporadically as a punt returner, returning 79 punts for 412 yards. In 1967, Allen moved to the Eskimos, he retired prior to the 1968 season. Following his CFL playing career, Allen became an assistant coach in 1968 at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B. C. Canada. Five years he was named co-coach of the team along with Bob DeJulius. After nine years at Simon Fraser, Allen returned to the U. S. in 1977 as the defensive coordinator at Montana under head coach Gene Carlson, followed by other assistant coaching positions with Eastern Washington and California. In 1983, Allen signed on as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Express of the USFL, a newly formed professional league which played its games in the spring during the NFL offseason. Two years he moved to Portland, Oregon as defensive coordinator for the Portland Breakers. Following the collapse of the USFL, Allen became the head coach of the Portland State Vikings in 1986. Allen coached the Vikings to their first playoff appearances, including back-to-back trips to the Division II finals in 1987 and 1988, though the team lost both games.

He was named coach of the year in the Western Football Conference five times. The Vikings had a 63 -- 26 -- 2 record. Allen was as much noted for his personality as his coaching, he took part in a humorous series of television commercials to sell tickets for Portland State games, with stunts such as dancing the Hokey Pokey, betting a month's salary on attendance at the game, allowing fans to vote on whether to pick heads or tails at the coin toss, most famously, a series of commercials in which Allen promised to have a meteor, an elephant, or himself land in the backyard of anyone not buying Portland State season tickets. In 1992, Allen's Division II Vikings visited Bronco Stadium in Boise in late October and soundly defeated the I-AA Broncos 52–26. After Boise State lost their next three games to close out the season, head coach Skip Hall promptly resigned, Allen and his entire coaching staff were hired away from Portland State. In his second year at Boise State in 1994, BSU began. Allen led the Broncos to a 10–1 regular season and a Big Sky championship, the first since 1980, a #3 ranking at the end of the regular season.

As conference champions, the Broncos were included in the 16-team Division I-AA playoffs and advanced to the national finals. BSU lost 24–14 to Jim Tressel's Youngstown State Penguins at Huntington, West Virginia, finished the season at 13–2. Allen maintained his reputation for publicity stunts at Boise State. During the run to the 1994 national championship game, he challenged local supporters and promised to ride a horse in downtown Boise if Bronco Stadium was sold out for their annual rivalry game versus Idaho, who had won twelve straight games over the Broncos; the stadium was sold out, BSU won 27–24, Allen kept his promise. Bothered by shoulder pain for about a month, Allen had outpatient surgery in Boise for a biopsy three days prior to the 1994 championship game, was diagnosed two days after the game with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of muscle cancer; the tumor in his upper right arm was removed in March and he underwent extensive chemotherapy and a stem-cell transplant in July at the Fred Hutchinson Center in Seattle.

He returned to coach the Broncos in 1995 while going through treatment, the cancer was declared